Wednesday Aug 26, 2009

HTML5 in Action; Plugin-free video and browser geolocation

I mentioned HTML5 in my links entry from yesterday and reading about what is coming is great, but seeing some of it in action is even better.  So I've created a few examples of a couple new features that I describe below.

The first is the ability to have video in web-pages without requiring any plug-ins.  This is done with the new <video> element, an example of which can be viewed below or here which happens to show Galen Rupp going sub-4:00 earlier this year.  But take a look at the source of that page and see how simple it is:

    <video src="RuppMile.ogv" controls/>

Isn't that easier than relying on plugins and or much more complicated HTML that has to download and use Flash? 

Now, a few caveats are that (to my knowledge) this only works in Firefox 3.5 and Safari 4 and the video has to be in Ogg Theora, Ogg Vorbis, or WAV format.  The Ogg media formats are not patent encumbered like other formats are so look for their growth and adoption to increase.  Learn more about it here.

The second is the use of some geolocation APIs that are not part of HTML5.  This can open a whole host of possibilities for applications to take advantage of location and deliver innovative applications for consumers.  I've created a simple example that uses the information provided to create a Google map centered on your location.  Try it here.

The source for this is a little more complicated due to the Javascript and use of Google's APIs but it boils down to the following:

navigator.geolocation.getCurrentPosition(showPosition);

function showPosition(position) {
    var latLong = position.coords.latitude + ',' + position.coords.longitude;
    document.getElementById('latLong').value = latLong;
    loadPage();
}

The first line of code registers a method to be called when the location is known and when that method is called it can retrieve the coordinates and do with it what it wants.  In my case I load the map.

Again, this requires Firefox 3.5 where it uses a service to get your location from your IP address which is somewhat accurate, or you can use Safari on your iPhone which tends to be much more accurate with its cell tower triangulation and GPS capabilities.

Grab Firefox 3.5 and start giving HTML5 a try!

Galen Rupp video requiring no Flash, Silverlight, or other plugin!

Sunday Jul 26, 2009

links for 2009-7-27: Mozilla and Google gets tricky; Apple Tablet; iPhone Encryption

  • For Mozilla and Google, Group Hugs Get Tricky - "In short, Mozilla showed the world that browsers matter. Now the challenge is to keep proving that Mozilla matters."  I think Mozilla and Firefox absolutely do matter.  Some interest notes on how Google rationalized building Chrome given their relationship with Mozilla and Firefox.
  • Apple's tablet in time for Christmas? - I wouldn't call it a Newton, but I don't think it would fail like the Newton either.
  • Hacker Says iPhone 3GS Encryption Is ‘Useless’ for Businesses - Yet another "feature" of the 3G S that doesn't compel me to want to fork out the cash to upgrade.  “Apple may be technically correct that [the iPhone 3GS] has an encryption piece in it, but it’s entirely useless toward security.”

Thursday Jul 09, 2009

Browser Market Share; Who is Really #1?

It has been a long held belief, and data has supported it, that Internet Explorer, due in large part to its ties to the dominant desktop operating system, has been the most used browser out there.  Now, the data has shown that things are narrowing which begs the question, what browser is really #1?

Why do I ask this question?  I've been a long time user of StatCounter.com on my blog to track some statistics and focused primarily on page views, but I recently also set up Google Analytics to see what data it provides.  In light of the recent announcement about Chrome OS, I was also curious how the Chrome Browser was being adopted.

In browsing through what it has to offer I came across its browser report where not only was IE not #1, it wasn't even #2 with Safari beating it out.  I also found it interesting that Chrome is at nearly 4%.

But clearly, a handful of hits on my blog is likely not representative of the broader market.  Additionally, I likely have a significant audience from Sun which may help skew the results towards Firefox and Safari.  And the general audience that reads my blog is probably more technical and likely to be using alternative browsers.  So what else can we look at?

The May report from Market Share By Net Applications shows what one might expect with IE at 65.5% followed by Firefox at 22.5%, Safari at 8.4%, and Chrome at only 1.8%.

For another perspective, w3schools.com lists their stats and for the month of June, Firefox is at 47.3%, the sum for IE 40.7%, and Chrome beating out Safari 6.0% to 3.1%.  Again, a more technical audience leads to greater use of Firefox and Chrome.

Last, going back to where I started with my stat gathering, StatCounter.com has global stats for the past year and while the data shows similar results to Market Share above, approximately 60% IE, 30% Firefox, and everything else in the weeds, since it looks at the past year you can see a trend of IE losing about 10% points.

 

Will this gradual decline continue?  It's hard to say, but I can say that competition and choice is good and in the end the consumer wins.

It is also very interesting to see the platforms StatCounter.com reports.  This shows that 95+% of their traffic is coming from Windows meaning that even where the provided default is IE, approximately a third of those folks make the choice and effort to switch.

So what does all this data show us?  Clearly, IE is still #1 amongst the general population.  But technical audiences, those that both have the knowledge to make a choice and the aptitude and interest to execute on that and install something other than the default, are seemingly beginning to abandon IE in favor of the competition.

I'll continue to look at this in the future and report back!

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